Is Divination Real? What It's Like to Get Your Cards Read at The Tarot Society
I'm about to make a sweeping generalization: New Yorkers are skeptics
I'm about to make a sweeping generalization: New Yorkers are skeptics. We're always on our guard for scams because that's what it takes to survive here. So when I heard about The Tarot Society, a biweekly bazaar of psychics put on by House of Screwball--power couple Kevin Pelrine and Darcey Leonard, I told myself it would be fun, but it wasn't something I was going to take too seriously. Nevertheless, I had to check it out because curiosity always gets the better of me.
So did I learn my future?
Were the cards right?
Could the psychics READ MY MIND?
Hold ya horses. What I first found was that The Tarot Society IS NOT about some lady wearing mystical jewels, staring into a "crystal" ball that's really just made of plastic behind some beaded curtain purchased 15 years ago from Natural Wonders. (Yes, you remember the very mall store I'm referencing. As much as we all loved haphazardly using our allowance money to buy "magic" books and a sacks of fools gold in our tweens, many of us probably now associate the practice of divinity with the word "scam.")
But there's nothing scammy about The Tarot Society. Admission is donation based, and you tip your reader whatever you want. There's no pressure to cough up cash for someone running a business out of their apartment for tax deductions just because they made up the day you'll die. No offense to those people. #cantknockthehustle, but I'm not trying to pay their rent, either.
Instead, The Tarot Society feels more like a comfort zone with people hanging out, drinking mulled cider, and generally talking about life. You can choose to grab a beverage (hopefully an alcoholic one), chill on the pillows and meet new people, or ya know, get your cards read. If you're new to this stuff, having so many unique readers available allows you to test the waters. And if you're not sure who to choose, Kevin and Darcey are both there to answer questions and give you guidance on who may be best for you. As a newb to this stuff, I didn't feel like I was falling down the rabbit hole.
My first reading was from Stuart Sudekum. He’s been studying western mysticism since his teens, and picked up Tarot in college. We’re talking a near decade of magical experience here.
What Stuart hashed out with me over the course of almost two hours, was that I am the Queen of Pentacles! Although a lot was said about this, in a nutshell this means that I'm at once loving AND materialistic. Also, I like to "have a fruitful garden." Guess what. That's true. That's me, guys.
Stuart told me I was the Queen of Pentacles. Yes!
Not for nothing, my experience with Stuart was literally one of the most intense things that's ever happened to me. Even more intense than that time I stayed up all night to watch Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, and Army of Darkness after eating an entire tube of Pringles and bag of Flipz. At one point when Stuart was talking about my short-term destiny I actually thought I was going into a diabetic coma, but in reality I was just being ridiculous and upset. I walked away all sweaty and emotional from this dude sorting my situation not for, but with me. He told me exactly how I had to handle upcoming battles, that did indeed come like, a week later. I did as he said with an air of confidence believing I was doing the right thing.
Perhaps. But sometimes you gotta do whatever works and for you, this worked. I honestly believe I had a much easier time with my conflicts thanks to this guidance.
For the purposes of, ahem, journalism, I wanted to try out some of the other readers and hear testimonies from other people I knew to be skeptics. I revisited The Tarot Society with some tough friends and Yaz Rossete who took all the lovely photographs you see here. It's always good to get multiple opinions.
This time I had a reading from DG Wilson. Now, DG's style wasn't as intense Stuart's. It was more inspirational, and less like he was staring deep into my soul and being honest about how the cosmos were about to shit all over my life and I had to be a passive warrior. This doesn't mean that DG was better or worse than Stuart, but he was uplifting, and sort of guided me like a motivational speaker. The weird thing is, about half the cards I had gotten with Stuart's reading two weeks ago were drawn again.
I had to ask. Both DG and Stuart stated this was common in readings because certain things in your life are obviously recurring, while others may change week to week. Seems legit.
So like I said, DG's a very pleasant, non-creepy, and fun person to do a reading with. If you're looking for an experience that's insightful without being too daunting, he'd definitely be a good person to go to.
DG is a motivational Tarot reader.
So enough about me and my messy trails. How do other people enjoy The Tarot Society? My friend Erose had an Astrology reading from Anais L'Amour. Anais does Tarot as well. Erose told me "The Astrology reading was all there. There wasn't a moment she was off. Generally I'm pretty open minded, but I'm skeptical about people who do this as a profession, but she basically affirmed everything I already felt. It was about who I am, but lead to using who I am to determine who I can become."
I spoke to my other friend who has recently started going to Anais for Tarot readings. She says homegirl is spot on and has been helping her decide between multiple Tinder suitors. This friend didn't end up taking Anais' advice about the guys, and things didn't exactly go well.
You be the judge.
Anais L'Amour does Tarot and Astrology readings.
I also spoke to Aria who had her reading from Homospicious. Homospicious is influenced by Dada, and is a very visual reader. Homospicious starts the reading off by asking the patron if they'd like to do "truth," or "fiction." From there Homopsicious they go over your past, present and future. Aria, said it was "Magical, and incredibly successful. She laid out the cards in a very visual way, and it made so much sense. She was using five decks, three of them were for me and two she sort of bounced off of for her reference." Sitting in for a bit, I really liked Homospicious' style. Definitely perfect for outside-the-box thinkers.
Homospicious is influenced by Dada, and is a very visual reader.
One Bushwick Daily contributor who-shall-remain-nameless had their reading from Crimson Kitty, who's been featured in The Huffington Post for being generally awesome. She said: "It was my first reading. She was on point. Not too specific, but she did touch on subjects and images as she interpreted it the way I would have interpreted it given my current situations. It was a projectal tarot."
Crimson Kitty on point.
You can get your palm read too. Annabel, who typically goes to Darcey Leonard herself, spoke with me about her experiences going to every session. She told me Darcey's been her go-to for palm readings for a while. When I asked why she liked sticking with Darcey she said "She's very confident and good at interacting with people." When I asked why she preferred palm readings to Tarot or Astrology readings she said, "I like it because your [palm] is something you're born with. Picking a card and rationalizing and interpreting it seems so distant to me. Your palm is specific to you as a person and feels truer."
So from what I found, is The Tarot Society legit? Yes. I totally drank the kool-aid! In the very least, if you don't believe that the sky is opening and divine nature is shining down on you to assist in defining your future and all that is destined, getting a reading can actually be therapeutic. The process of bringing up your issues (don't act like you don't have any) and sorting them out through a reading causes you to address what's really important for you to improve at that time. So stop being so cynical. Check it out this weekend at The Body Actualized Center.
And don't forget to tip your Reader...
OR AM I????
**The Tarot Society meets every other Sunday at 6 p.m. at The Body Actualized Center. Admission is a donation of $5-$25. The next one is this upcoming Sunday.